Come join the Youth and Beauty Brigade

The Decemberists are unparalleled storytellers and the best band that ever lived, so selecting one of their songs to use for a DS106 class project seemed appropriate.  For this assignment I decided to use a lyric from “California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade,” which appears on Castaways and Cutouts.

Here they are performing the song:

Castaways and Cutouts was released in 2002.  It went undiscovered by me until the winter of 2004.  I had just started making friends with some folks in Richmond.  One of them was a young hipster who had better taste in music than I did.

“California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade” remains on my list of favorite Decemberists songs for a few reasons.  The first half of the song is about driving route 1, which runs along the California coastline, and drinking wine.  Who doesn’t like a road trips and wine?  And look at these lyrics:  “Take a long drive with me on California One” and “Take a long dram with me on California wine.”  Clever, Colin Meloy.  Effing Clever.

It’s “Youth and Beauty Brigade” that I really adore.  I’m neither youthful nor beautiful, but boy oh boy do I relate to the misanthropes and misfits that populate The Decemberists’ Youth and Beauty Brigade: bed-wetters*, ambulance chasers, bored bench warmers, castaways, cutouts, irresponsible library users.  Yes!  And that brings me to this:

Lyric Typography Poster

Lyric Typography Poster featuring The Decemberists

Jaysus.  I’m looking at the image now, and thinking that I really built that up with the back story.

I also worked in Photoshop too.  Photoshop is still a challenge for me.  Layers and working within said layers is counterintuitive.  I’m thinking it may have something to do with the fact that I’ve spent decades in word processing software built for the “everyman.”  I’ll figure it out though.  Here’s the Photoshop version:

Cops in cars

Photoshopped version

There’s not enough space at the top, and the font type isn’t all that adventurous or exciting (especially after seeing the stuff at Music Philosophy) or uniform, but screw it.  It’s a draft.

The police car photo is from Robert Kuykendall’s Flickr stream.  I found the image by doing an advanced search in Flickr for Creative Commons-licensed images.


* I am not a bed-wetter, by the way.  I don’t chase ambulances either.  I’m not much for warming benches, because I don’t play sports.  I am notorious for not getting my library books back on time.


3 thoughts on “Come join the Youth and Beauty Brigade

    • Why yes. Yes you may! I think I’m going to keep a running list of projects to complete once I really know what I’m doing. Chickens rattling chicken chains is going on it.

  1. Pingback: Letter Home: Week in Review (6/11-6/17) « Indie School Librarian

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